When was the last time you checked your firm’s standing data? Anyone that has benefited from an RWA health check will recognise that question.
Answers are varied, with some stating that, “We do it at least once a year.” Whilst others respond that, “It’s up to the FCA to get their information correct as it’s their system.”
So, who is responsible for your firm’s standing data? The answer is very simple; it’s 100% your responsibility to ensure that all the information held by the FCA is right up to date at all times. If you don’t tell the FCA of any changes how can you expect the register and other records to be correct?
What is standing data? Basically, it’s all the information about your firm that is held on the Financial Services Register and on CONNECT.
Standing Data is covered by SUP 16.10 in the FCA Handbook. SUP 16.14.4R States:
Requirement to check the accuracy of standing data and to report changes to the FCA
1. Within 30 business days of its accounting reference date, a firm must check the accuracy of its standing data through the relevant section of the FCA website.
2. If any standing data is incorrect, the firm must submit the corrected standing data to the FCA using the appropriate form set out in SUP 15 Ann 3 and in accordance with SUP 16.10.4A R.
All firms should be aware of the FCA Threshold Condition 2.3 – Effective Supervision, which deals with the requirement to check all standing data.
A firm must be capable of being effectively supervised by the FCA, taking into account the nature of the organisation and complexity of its business, the products supplied and the activities it undertakes.
The FCA needs to receive adequate information from the firm, and those persons with whom the firm has close links, to enable it to determine whether the firm is complying with the requirements and standards under its regulatory regime and to identify and assess the impact on its statutory objectives.
This will include consideration of whether the firm is ready, willing and organised to comply with Principle 11 (Relations with regulators) and the rules in SUP on the provision of information to the FCA.
One of the requirements of Cond 2.3 is that the firm checks its standing data. Checking this and recording it forms part of the annual threshold conditions report. A lot of firms forget that once you have uploaded information onto the CONNECT system it is there permanently; not all of it is displayed on the FS Register so checking CONNECT must form part of the overall check.
Checking the Financial Services Register
Contact information for your firm
Are the addresses, telephone numbers and email details correct? Does it clearly show who is responsible for complaints and insurance mediation?
Do those concerned still work for the company? That might sound silly but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve seen the names of people that have either sadly passed away or left the firm many months ago, still on the register.
Are those individuals shown as holding a controlled function correct? Always remember that as soon as someone that holds a controlled function leaves the firm for whatever reason you must let the FCA know via the CONNECT system immediately.
Appointed Reps/Tied Agents
Does the register reflect correctly who should be on there? Note: - The register will not show any Introducers that are directly authorised, such as another insurance broker or IFA.
Are your permissions displayed correct? Again, that might sound silly but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen incorrect permissions, or certain permissions missing for one reason or another.
Remember that if your firm gives advice to individuals/firms that are based abroad then you will need that country’s permission to give advice there. Only EEA countries are currently covered by passporting permissions.
Are any trading names/styles listed correct? Again, please ensure that if any trading names are no longer in use get them taken off., Similarly, if any new trading names are required ensure that permission to use these is obtained from the FCA BEFORE you start trading under that name.
Once you have finished checking the register then log on to CONNECT and do the same. CONNECT can hold a wealth of data about your firm such as Auditors, so it is essential that this system is reviewed and updated and not just to concentrate on the register.
RWA will soon be putting a standing data check-sheet on the templates library. This will be a simple tool that can be completed and filed with your annual Threshold Condition Review, so if the regulator asks to see your latest threshold condition report you will at least have evidence of your standing data check.
For any further support or information please contact your RWA Business Manager in the normal way.